I wonder if there were comparable pressures in the days when music was composed by quill and candlelight, to stay on top of the wave of progress.
There are the obvious trends that happen in music itself that we producers need to try and stay abreast of, but there is also the matter of keeping our technology happening too!
At times, when things are a little slow and my bank balance doesn’t seem to want to accomodate that new piece of software, or that flash new audio interface and midi controller, I catch myself saying stuff like…..”Ahh but a true composer could make music with a bin lid and a piece of celery.”. I guess this is true to an extent, but for those of us that are trying to irk out a living in this biz, it seems that it is still important to not be working on an Atari Notator and a Moog….(although I’d love a Moog for my arsenal).
It’s not so much about the ease and convenience that new gear tends to bring, as much as it is the importance of being able to communicate with fellow producers and other departments of this industry…like film and TV for instance. I guess this is becoming more and more about software, than it is about hardware, as more and more of our stuff is becoming virtual.
I am at that annoying stage where my main workhorse computer in the studio has run out of updates! Apple no longer support it, and all new hardware is designed solely for the newer OS and newer processors. My old G5 is fast becoming obsolete. Despite what they say about these systems not getting tired and slow, I have definately noticed it’s performance diminishing over the last few years. Granted I do thrash her with hundreds of real-time effects and virtual instruments.
I added a MacBook Pro to my collection last year, and was excited to be able to install the most current Logic Pro. To my surprise this little thing could more than handle what the G5 was stumbling over. The new version of Logic is divine, but I am still using the older version predominantly in the studio.
So now I need to start saving for the next studio monster. The old one will either go into retirement, or if I can work out how to use it as a node, then that might be an option too.
It’s all to easy to let this all slip. I have visited other producers in the past, and seen how far behind they had become with their technology and before too long they were forced to upgrade EVERYTHING at once…..their brains melted with so much new stuff to learn. So my tip to anybody else, and to myself, is try and stay on top of this or you will definately get left behind. It’s like surfing…if you stay on the wave it’s easy, fun and manageable…..if you fall behind, every wave is gonna hit you in the face.